We managed to get our Sudanese visa in Aswan Egypt within four days. The only problem being that it was a Sunday, which is also the only day that the traditional route via ferry leaves for Wadi Halfa in Sudan. After doing some research we discovered that the road which was previously strictly for military use had recently been opened. So we managed to secure a bus ride to the Sudanese border. The 330km journey was through a desert and included a ferry. Both John and I decided that the authorities would not allow us to do this part by bicycle.
We were at the bus station at 4:30am ready for the anticipated departure time of 5:30am. We were a little surprised to see the amount of luggage that everyone had brought along and the challenge involved with loading the luggage including the two bicycles. Needless to say that after some 2.5 hours with lots of screaming and shouting we were off.
By the time we reached the Sudanese border and after unloading and reloading the entire content of the bus twice, myself and John had had enough. So we loaded our bikes and cycled the last 30km to Wadi Halfa. We were quickly introduced to the very arid landscape which would be our home for the next while. But with a strong wind on our backs we managed to get there in double quick time.
It was necessary to stop in Wadi Halfa to prepare for the next leg of our journey. This included getting a photography permit, supplies and plenty of water.
We had an adventure in itself finding the place to secure our photography permit. After asking ten people including two different policeman where we could find the police station, we eventually found it. Firstly policeman X sent us to the water and fisheries board. In turn they sent us to the inland security office. Then they sent us back to the original police station. Luckily for us, policeman X eventually got the jist of what we were looking for and sent us to the tourism office next door. After our 4km round trip and about two hours later, we secured the permit.
The tourist office
The distances are vast in this part of the world. We followed the newly built A1 road through this very arid moonlike landscape. Playing eye spy with my little eye would become very boring after about 5 minutes. But the peacefulness, the sound of the wind, rock formations, sandy whirlwinds and the brightest stars that you have ever seen, has been the biggest contrast to the journey we experienced in Egypt.
We camped in an old ruined barracks where we got some protection from the cold windy night.
The next morning we came across a roadside cafe. Here the kind people offered to wash our dishes from the night before. When water is scarce, this is an absolute treat. We then ate one of the best goat stews with beans with some freshly baked flat bread and were on our way.
The journey continues